Getting Started

If someone had told me 2 years ago that I would attempt to start a blog I would have responded with an incredulous eye roll. First of all, I didn’t identify myself as a writer. Outside of emails, I would only write creatively when forced to for school assignments. The mental act of putting the words in my mind to paper was a tortured loop of writing, reading, rewriting, rereading in an attempt to say something in just the right way.  (It still is a significant effort. It’s taken me 5 minutes just to come up with these first 4 sentences.)  

Beyond the effort it takes me to write, I really didn’t know what I would have to say on with any kind of consistency. I need the structure of a topic and an assignment to write. Without that it was too much to think about so I didn’t bother to think about it at all.

But in April 2013 I started taking baby steps to where I am now. I was having a conversation with my dear friend Erica and she mentioned she recently read The Power of Habit and thought of me. She suggested I read the book and write a guest post for her blog, ericafinds.com.

EricaFinds(As a side note, anyone who has stumbled upon this blog probably already knows of Erica, but if not you should check out her blog. It’s awesome.)

PowerofHabitCoverAnyway, reading Power of Habit was easy enough as I am a persistent reader and the topic of habits is in my wheelhouse. It was really just a matter of getting a copy of the book in my hands. Writing a freeform blog on whatever I wanted was a completely different matter for the reasons I’ve described above. Nevertheless, I did it. Here’s the proof:

http://ericafinds.com/2013/09/guest-post-the-power-of-habit/

You should note that it took me 6 months to actually perform. That’s a constant theme in my life. I get things done, but I do it in my own time, which is usually deliberate but in slow & plodding way.

Erica liked that post well enough and suggested I continue write as a guest for her. I was happy for the positive feedback but still struggled to find a topic that was worth mental strain I put myself through to be both insightful and clever. Eventually I came up with topic 2, but I concluded that I could never be a blogger like Erica because it takes me months to create content when days or weeks are what is necessary.

That all changed when Erica and I visited in February. Erica was running a marathon in Phoenix with a group of her blogging friends and I was tagging along. Each blogger seemed to have a personal niche carved out to write on and the group collectively had a supportive and positive energy to draw on. As I returned home I was inspired to think about what my own niche topic to write on could be. After a few days it dawned on me that I should expand upon what I’ve already written for Erica’s blog…Habits. More specifically, I’m could write about what I consciously do to manipulate my habits in order to do more of what I want to do (like writing for this blog) and less of what I end up regretting the day after (like mindless time wasting on Facebook).

That brings me to now. This is blog post 01 of Habit Engineering. Hopefully I can eventually come up with new topics. Time will tell….

Don

If you’ve made it this, far thank you for taking the time to read this. I’d love get your thoughts on the topic of Habit Engineering, how it resonates with you, and your experiences with consciously using habits to change. Ideally this will spark interesting dialogue, give both of us some new tricks & tools to make our lives better, and inspire me to write more.

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